President Bush has signed into law a measure aimed at strengthening the Freedom of Information Act.
Feeling discouraged about the erosion of journalists' traditional role as watchdogs? Lighten up with the Spring 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, published by the foundation at Harvard University. Titled "21st Century Muckrakers: Who Are They? How Do They Do Their Work?" the issue includes nearly 50 articles chronicling the "Muckraker" tradition of American investigative journalism and documenting that muckraking is alive and well, even in today's digital age.
Hundreds of EPA scientists are complaining that they are being pressured by political appointees who run EPA to alter their scientific findings to support the administration's deregulatory agenda, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
House and Senate conferees have dropped from the 2007 Farm Bill language that would keep secret the names and addresses of feedlot operators. Faced with recent defeats in both Congress and the courts, the USDA and meat industry, both of whom seem determined to keep such information secret, may be shifting their strategy to trying to accomplish the same result by using Privacy Act regulations.
A new ruling by a New Mexico state district judge requires that a report on groundwater pollution from a mixed-waste landfill at Sandia National Laboratories be made public.
"When an environmental group, Alaskans for Clean Water, asked for copies of state records about an unsuccessful ballot proposal to limit mining pollution, officials initially said they would turn over the documents — for $50,000," the Associated Press reported October 20, 2008.
Those U.S. representatives and senators really know how to party. Especially the ones running for re-election or under indictment. Now journalists who want to follow the money have a new "Access Washington" snooper-tool to use in their investigative projects.
EPA, FWS and OSHA are among the least open of 15 different federal agencies covered most frequently by environmental reporters, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
As the corpses of newspapers litter the American landscape, they seem to fertilize the sprouting of a bumper crop of new blogs devoted to environment and energy. If you are looking for environmental news, you are mostly likely to find it online.
Committee staff are crucial to covering environmental issues. Here are some current House committee phone contacts relevant to the environment beat.